Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Baen?

Founded by Jim Baen, Baen Books has been bringing readers pulse-pounding, thought-provoking adventures straight from the heart of science fiction and fantasy for decades. We publish books in hardcover, paperback, and electronic form, and are one of the few traditional publishers that maintains its own ebooks webstore (with at least four new titles added every month). We are also perhaps the only book publisher to make our electronic advanced readers copies (eARCs) available for sale to devoted fans before a book’s official release date. In addition, we also sell ebooks from other publishers. We sell more than 2000 books from over 500 authors published by 24 different companies. Good reading to all!

Manuscript Submission Guidelines

We are looking only for science fiction and fantasy. Writers familiar with what we have published in the past will know what sort of material we are most likely to publish in the future: powerful plots with solid scientific and philosophical underpinnings are the sine qua non for consideration for science fiction submissions. As for fantasy, any magical system must be both rigorously coherent and integral to the plot, and overall the work must at least strive for originality.

Those manuscripts which survive the "first cut" as outlined above are then judged primarily on plot and characterization.

Style: Simple is generally better; in our opinion good style, like good breeding, never calls attention to itself.

Payment rates: very competitive.

Preferred length: 100,000 - 130,000 words. Generally we are uncomfortable with manuscripts under 100,000 words, but if your novel is really wonderful send it along regardless of length.

Submission procedures:

Query letters are not necessary. We prefer to see complete manuscripts accompanied by a synopsis. We prefer not to see simultaneous submissions.

Your submission must include your name, email address*, postal mailing address, and telephone number on both your cover letter and the first page of the manuscript. Include a plot outline if possible.

*[If you have an alternate permanent email address, please include it, in case your primary account goes out of service.]

Spelling and grammar checkers are tools, nothing more. Do not trust them to proofread your manuscript for you.

Minimal formatting, please. Do not format text boxes or sidebars into the manuscript; use block quotes. Indent paragraphs; double space text, with no extra lines between paragraphs; center chapter headers and scene break indicators (###, ***, etc.); use page breaks only at the end of chapters. For emphasis, choose either underline or italics and use it consistently throughout. Try to avoid bold face, as it tends not to show up.

Do not use "smart quotes"/curly quotes or single character ellipses, em dashes, etc. Use straight quotes and apostrophes, . . ., --, etc.

Avoid non-standard fonts, and unnecessary changes in font face, size, etc. Any standard book face, Times Roman or Courier, is fine. Make it readable, or we won't read it. If something needs special formatting—e.g., small caps for a certain entity's dialog—explain it in a cover letter.

Include, if you like, your ideal cover treatment, including cover copy, a teaser page, and whatever else you would like. (But don't try to "sell" the story in a cover letter. It will stand or fall on its own merits.)

Electronic Submissions:

We no longer accept submissions by email. Too much spam.

Send your manuscript by using the submission form at:

No disks unless requested.

Attach the manuscript as a Rich Text Format (.rtf) file. Any other format will not be considered.

Send the manuscript as a single file (do not break it into separate chapter files). The form only accepts a single file so any synopsis and contact info needs to be in the file with your manuscript.

NOTE: Any viruses attached to your submission will send your manuscript straight into the bit-bucket.

Hardcopy Submissions: (for those who cannot submit electronically)

Standard manuscript format only: double-spaced, one side of the page only, 1-1/2" (i.e., 1.5") margins on all four sides of the page. We will consider photocopies if they are dark and clear.

Title, author (last name only is okay), and page number at the top of each page are mandatory. Include your name, mailing address, and telephone number on the first page.

Hardcopy manuscripts identified as "disposable" will be recycled. Disposable submissions should be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped, letter-sized envelope for our reply (submissions from outside the U.S. may include sufficient International Reply Coupons). Manuscripts intended to be returned should be accompanied by self-addressed packaging and sufficient postage.

Please send manuscripts to

Baen Books

P.O. Box 1188

Wake Forest, NC 27588

Reporting time: usually within 12 to 15 Months. (Sorry, we get lots of manuscripts.)

Thank you for thinking of Baen Books.

The Editors

Purchasing from

We offer the following two options for purchasing Baen books from our website:

Traditional printed books: Baen does not sell print books directly. If you would like to buy a traditional printed book, click the "Purchase Options" button next to the hardcover or paperback title you are interested in. This will reveal a list of retailers that carry our books. Click your retailer of choice to go to that retailer's page. Once there, you can purchase that title.

Ebooks: If you would like to buy an electronic book, click the “eARC” or "Ebook" button next to the title you are interested in. This will add this selection to your shopping cart, where you can review the contents before purchasing and downloading your chosen title(s) in the electronic format of your choice.

Happy reading.

Purchasing an Ebook

What payment methods does Baen accept?

Baen accepts the following payment types:

  1. Credit Card- Master Card, Visa, Discover, or American Express
  2. PayPal
  3. Certified Check/Money Order- No personal or foreign currency checks are accepted
  4. MicroPay store credit

I paid via PayPal but I can't access my Ebook!

PayPal may delay clearing the transaction immediately so you might have to wait a day or two while they verify the purchase. Please be patient.

I'm having trouble using a Gift Card issued by a credit card company. Can you help?

Here are a few things to double check before using a gift card issued by a credit card company on our Web site:

  1. Is the card expired?
  2. Is your total more than your gift card?
  3. Is your card registered? Contact the gift card's issuer to register your name, address, and phone number affiliated with the billing address on your Baen account so our fraud prevention software does not decline the transaction. You can register your card using the number provided in your card's documentation or by visiting their Web site.

Unfortunately, our fraud prevention software does decline some gift cards even if you have done everything correctly. It's the downside to keeping our customers protected. If this happens, please use another payment method to complete your order.

Purchasing Challenge Coins

  1. When you’re done shopping, click Check Out like you would a normal ebook purchase

  2. On the Checkout page, click Save Billing Address and Save Shipping Address that appear on the left hand side of the page under Billing Info and Shipping Info. If necessary, select a different address from the drop down menus. The Order Summary side of the page will appear blank for now.

  3. After you save your shipping address a shipping method will appear. Click Save Shipping Method.

  4. Next, select your payment method.

  5. After selecting your payment method, your order summary will appear on the right hand side of the page. Scroll back up to review. If everything looks good, Click the yellow Place Order button to complete your purchase.

MicroPay FAQ

What is a MicroPay Account?

MicroPay is store credit here at Baen. Instead of paying with your credit card or PayPal, you can use funds you've prepaid. In other words, it's a placeholder for money that you "deposit" every now and then. Whenever you go to your shopping cart, you can "purchase" MicroPay account dollars in $5 increments. That money goes into your account here at Baen. You can use that money to purchase anything that’s for sale on the site—whether you want to download an eARC from your favorite author, or treat yourself to the newest Ebook in a series

Why would I want MicroPay store credit?

There are four major advantages to using MicroPay:

  1. Prepay: Give yourself or your loved one a Baen allowance.
  2. Pay by check: If you pay by certified check or money order, we add funds to your MicroPay account.
  3. Security: If you pay exclusively by MicroPay, you no longer need your credit card information stored on our Web site!
  4. Quick checkout: 1. Purchase your eARCs, Ebooks, or anything else that we sell on the site faster, no more finagling with your credit card information with every purchase!

How do I set up a MicroPay Account?

Easy! Add money to your MicroPay Account in $5 increments. Follow these easy steps:

  1. Log in to your account at
  2. Click Shopping Cart in the upper right corner of the page. This will be under your name. It's okay if the cart is empty.
  3. At the bottom of the cart (or the only entry if the cart is empty), you will see "Your MicroPay Balance is: $XX.00." This is your current balance.
  4. In the "Quantity" column, you will see a field with 0 in it. Change this number to add money to your MicroPay account in $5 increments.
  5. Click "Update Cart" to see the changed subtotal.
  6. Check out as you normally do to receive your MicroPay credits.

Can I buy eARCs, Ebooks, or anything else Baen sells on the website at the same time I add money to my MicroPay account?

Sure! Add a few eARCs, a series of Ebooks, or that special Baen purchase to your cart as you normally do and add $5 (or more!) to your account at the same time by following the above steps.

How do I know how much money is in my MicroPay account?

Your MicroPay balance is easy to find! Locate it in one of these two places:

  • Your Account: After logging in to your account, click "Your Account" under your name in the upper right corner of the screen. Your MicroPay balance will be at the top of the page, above the TBD "Account Info" section header.
  • Shopping Cart: After logging in to your account, click "Shopping Cart" under your name in the upper right corner of the page. View your MicroPay balance in two places: At the top of the page above the TBD "Shopping Cart" section header and at the bottom of your cart, underneath any Ebooks you've added. (See the picture below for reference.)

How do I use my MicroPay funds to buy stuff?

  • Verify that you have enough money in your MicroPay account to cover all the items in your shopping cart. You will only receive the option for MicroPay if you have enough store credit to cover the entire purchase price.
  • At step 4 of the checkout process, select "Use My MicroPay account."
  • Click "Continue Checkout."
  • Before placing your order, verify the payment method is "Using MicroPay Account."
  • Select "Place Order"
  • After placing your order, you should see a "MICROPAY ORDER RECEIVED" confirmation. Your remaining MicroPay balance will also appear at this time.

I have money in my MicroPay account but it won't let me buy anything. Help!

If there's not enough money in your MicroPay account to pay for every item in your cart, you'll need to use another method of payment. You might want to add funds to your MicroPay account at the same time to save keystrokes the next time you buy an Ebook.

Can I add money to my MicroPay account using a certified check or money order?

Sure! Mail a certified check or money order along with a note that includes your clearly printed login account email address, and we'll deposit the money in your account when we get it. Please allow up to two weeks for certified checks and money orders to be processed and the funds to be added to your account. We'll send you email when the money shows up in your account.

Please mail your certified checks or money orders to:

Baen Books

Dept E

P.O. Box 1188

Wake Forest, NC 27588

Note: We do not accept personal checks.

What payment methods can I use to add MicroPay money to my account?

You can use credit card, PayPal, certified check, or money order! Just select one of those options when checking out.

Can I fax in my credit information instead of using your online cart?

Sure! Fax your credit card number, expiration date, name on credit card, verification code (CVV), account login ID, and email address to (919) 570-1644. Be sure to tell us how much money to put in your MicroPay account. The minimum is $5.

My MicroPay store credit balance is too low to make a purchase, but I don't want to add any more funds to it. How do I apply the money towards future purchases?

If your MicroPay balance is too low to make a purchase, and you do not want to add funds to your MicroPay account, contact Baen Support. We can zero-out your remaining MicroPay balance and issue you a Baen Gift Certificate for the remaining funds. You can use this gift certificate to buy anything we sell.

If I decide I no longer want to buy anything from, can I get my account money back?

Absolutely! We can refund any unused MicroPay Account balance. Send an email to Baen Support asking for a refund. Please include your account email address, your name, and mailing address in this email. The refund will be processed and mailed to you within 60 days.

Baen Gift Certificates

What is a Baen Gift Certificate?

Baen Gift Certificates are digital gift cards that you or a gift recipient can use to purchase anything we sell here on the Baen website. This includes eARCs, Ebooks, or any special promotional item on offer.

What denominations are available for purchase?

Purchase Baen Gift Certificates in preloaded amounts of:

  • $5.00
  • $10.00
  • $25.00
  • $50.00
  • $100.00
  • $250.00
  • $500.00
  • $1,000.00

You can purchase multiple quantities of each increment on a single order.

How can I purchase a Baen Gift Certificate?

  1. Visit our Gift Certificate section by clicking "Gift Certificates" under the yellow categories section on the left-hand navigation menu.
  2. Click on the image of the Gift Certificate or the "More Information" button.
  3. Select the pre-loaded amount you wish to order and the quantity.
  4. Click "Add to Cart" to place the Gift Certificate in your Shopping Cart.
  5. When you're ready to complete your order, select "Checkout Now" on your Shopping Cart
  6. Fill in your Recipient's Name, Recipient's Email Address, and to include a brief message for your gift recipient.
  7. After filling out the Gift Certificate Email form, complete the ordering process as normal. Your Gift Certificate Recipient will receive the Gift Certificate via email.

How do I redeem a Baen Gift Certificate?

  1. Select an eARC, Ebook, or Baen swag you'd like to purchase and place it in your Shopping Cart.
  2. Click "Shopping Cart" under your name at the top of your screen.
  3. Scroll down underneath the books in your cart and you'll see a section (in bold TBD letters) called "Coupon or Gift Certificate." In the box, enter the alphanumeric claim code the gift certificate came with.
  4. Select "Update Cart." The remaining total should reflect the Ebook purchase amount minus the Gift Certificate balance.
  5. Follow the checkout process as normal.

Where can I find my Gift Certificate redemption code?

Your Gift Certificate redemption code is the alphanumeric "claim code" found in the upper right hand corner of the Gift certificate email.

What is Baen’s DRM policy on Ebooks?

Baen is committed to remaining free of Digital Rights Management (DRM).

All available Baen Ebooks are DRM-free and accessible worldwide. Once you purchase one of our Ebooks, you can download it as many times as you would like, in as many of the seven formats we provide, for as many eReaders as you'd like.

My Ebooks are missing! Why can’t I purchase certain Ebooks? Information about reverted rights.

After a certain period, the rights to a book revert back to the author from the publisher. At that point, the author can choose the next step for his or her work, which sometimes means that Baen Ebooks can no longer offer it for sale. In most cases, any book that you have already purchased should remain accessible to you through your account.

We recommend all customers to keep backups of their purchased Ebooks as it is not always possible for us to host Ebooks after their rights are reverted. Further, we cannot always give advance notice when a book’s rights will be reverted.

If you can no longer access a purchased Ebook, email us with your Baen Ebooks email address and the original order number. You can contact us by clicking on the “Contact Technical Support” question at the bottom of this page.

We apologize for any inconvenience. Note that if a particular book you are looking for has become unavailable on our site, you might be able to find it for sale elsewhere.

When are Baen Ebooks updated with new content?

We release three segments of each new novel, one month apart, beginning three months before the publication date. Check back on the 15th of every month for updated Ebook files until the actual publication month. Log back in after noon EST on the first Tuesday of the publication month to receive the final updated Ebook. Monthly discount bundles are available for purchase starting three months before the publication month.

Note: eARCs and Ebooks published by other publishers may follow a different release schedule.

Where can I find your publishing schedule?

To learn when a book is available or which formats it’s available in, check out Baen's publishing schedule of new and upcoming releases. Clicking on a title will reveal more information about the book and its author.

To see a list of current and previous releases, head over to Baen's publishing schedule.

Book Costs and Short Runs

This answer was given to a request to reprint even a few copies of =End Run= which is out of print

The problem is, we can sell maybe a thousand a year while we need to print 15,000 to justify printing at all because a large part of the printing cost is "set-up." Thus if set-up is the same for printing a thousand at, say $4500, while actual printing costs are fifty cents per unit, the actual cost per unit in the first case is a five thousand dollars for a thousand units, or a prohibitive $5 per unit, whereas in the second case the cost is twelve thousand dollars for 15,000 units, or eighty cents per unit.

If I sell books for six bucks that cost me five bucks just to manufacture I'll go broke pretty fast. I get maybe two bucks per book to pay for everything except distribution — the bookstore's profit, authors royalty, manufacturing, cover art, rent and electricity.... everything including baby's new shoes.

Hope this helps. :)

-Jim Baen

Are your Ebooks compatible with my eReader?

You can download and enjoy our Ebooks in seven DRM-free formats:

  • HTML (.htm)– Read this online or download and enjoy on your computer
  • Ebookwise/Rocket (.rb)– Read this online or download and enjoy on your computer
  • Ebookwise/Rocket (.rb)– Read on your Rocket eReader
  • Mobi/Kindle (.mobi)– Read on your Kindle
  • EPUB/Nook/iBooks (.epub)– Read on your Apple, Nook, or Android devices
  • Microsoft Reader (.lit)
  • Sony Digital Reader (.lrf)
  • RTF (.rtf)– Compatible with popular word processing programs like Microsoft Word, WordPad, and TextEdit

At this time, the Schlock Mercenary Bundle and the individual titles that comprise it are the only Ebooks we provide in PDF format. We've extensively considered PDF format for Baen Ebooks. However, Baen Ebooks does not currently plan to offer it for collections other than the Schlock Mercenary comics.

I bought an Ebook. Where do I go to download it?

Here are four easy ways you can access your purchased Ebooks:

Order History

  1. Log in and hover over your name to view the drop down menu. Click "Orders" In the dropdown. This will take you to your order history.
  2. You can view your orders by date and download them one order at a time.

    2. Log in and hover over your name to view the drop down menu. Click "Downloads" In the dropdown. This will take you to the mass download tool.
    3. You can download up to 100 books at a time in the format of your choice.

    My Books

    1. Click the "My Books" filter at the top of the "All Books" page.
    2. Click the cover image or the title for the purchased Ebook you'd like to download. This will take you to the product page where you can download the book individually.

    Download Link Email

    You can also wait to receive your download link email that accompanies every purchase. In this email, you will see a list of the Ebooks you purchased with a direct link to their product pages (under the links to individual books section). Click on the purchased Ebook you'd like to download (either the cover image, the title, or the "Download" link), and you'll go to the product page where you will find a list of download links.

Why are some books greyed out?

These books are no longer available for purchase. However, if you have previously purchased the Ebook from Baen, you can log in to your account and click “Downloads” from the dropdown that appears when you hover over your name, select the book(s) you would like to download, and download them in the format of your choice.

The link in my Download Instructions email won't work!

There are two likely reasons the link in your Download Instructions email won't work:

  • You aren't logged in– Verify you're logged into before you click on a download link in your Download Instructions email. Can't tell if you're logged in? You'll see "Welcome, <your name here>" in yellow text at the top right-hand corner of any page if you are successfully logged into our Web site.
  • You're using an old email– Download Instructions emails sent before our site redesign that contains links with "" in the URL may not work. Please log onto the Web site and use your order history or "My Books" link to access your Ebooks.

I downloaded a zipped file, what do I do now?

If you download the compressed, zipped version of our Ebooks, make sure you unzip the files before opening or transferring the files to your eReader. On PCs, we recommend WinZip. Macs don’t need a program as Apple builds the extraction software into the OS.

I just got a new eReader; can I redownload all of my previous purchases in bulk?

The new mass download page makes downloading your Ebooks faster and more convenient! Now you can download up to 100 books at a time.

To access the mass download page:

  • Go to your account page
  • Click the “Click here to download your Ebooks” button

What is the mass download page?

The mass download page lets you download multiple Ebooks at once in any of the most common formats (Ebookwise/Rocket, Mobi/Kindle, EPUB/Nook/Stanza, Microsoft Reader, Sony Digital Reader, RTF).

What books can I download via the mass download page?

You can download any Ebooks you have previously purchased, or any Ebooks currently available in the free library.

How does the page work?

Select your desired books on the left-hand side of the screen and use the enter key or the arrow button on the screen to transfer them to your download list. Once you’ve made your selection, choose a file format from the file format dropdown list and click Download. Your download will begin.

Can I search for specific books?

The mass download page allows you to filter your owned Ebooks list by author, category, and publisher. You can also search for specific Ebook titles.

Are there any restrictions to this page?

You must be logged in to use the mass download page. You may only download up to 100 titles at a time. You can’t mass download Ebooks in uncommon formats (pdf, mp3, wav, flac).

What happens if I try to download an Ebook that doesn’t have my selected format?

The bottom of the page will indicate which titles do not have files in your selected format.

I need help loading my Ebook onto my eReader!

Monthly Baen Bundles

What are Monthly Baen Bundles?

A Monthly Baen Bundle contains Ebook editions of all the books Baen publishes on paper that month. These bundles normally contain between six and eight Ebooks and are much cheaper than buying the Ebooks individually.

What's the benefit of purchasing an Ebook that's part of the Monthly Baen Bundle?

Purchasing a Monthly Baen Bundle early entitles you to the following benefits:

  1. A cost savings of at least the price of one Ebook!
  2. Pre-release access to books prior to their mass-market publication!
  3. At least four titles new to Baen Ebooks
  4. 4-8 exciting Baen Ebooks in one bundled purchase

How much is a Monthly Baen Bundle?

A monthly Baen Bundle costs $20 per month. This payment entitles you to the entirety of all Ebooks included in that month's bundle, no matter when you purchased the bundle.

How does the Monthly Baen Bundle Program work?

Baen publishes each novel in three segments, one month apart, beginning three months before the actual publication date. Each month, several books are available. For each month purchased, you receive access to a directory containing these books.

Four months before publication, we list the Ebook as Forthcoming.

Three months before publication, you gain access to the first Half of the books in HTML format.

Two months before publication, you gain access to the first Three Quarters of the books in HTML format.

On the publication date, you receive full access and can download the entire bundle in all seven DRM-free formats.

As we release the full Ebooks as individual titles, bookstores around the country will begin to stock the physical versions of the new release titles.

How do I tell how much of an Ebook in this month's bundle is currently available?

To see how much of an Ebook is currently available in a certain month's bundle, go to the Monthly Baen Bundle page, and underneath each book title in red, you will see either Half or Three-Quarters. No red text means we’ve posted the full version. You will not need to pay any additional money when we post the full version.

Why do some Monthly Baen Bundle months repeat books?

When we repeat Ebooks, it's because Baen rereleased those books already in print—usually in paperback, a second edition, etc.—so we are also featuring them on our Web site. The $20 price point may not seem like such a deal if there are Ebooks you already own included, however, when considering at least half of the Ebooks are still new to Baen Ebooks, you are still saving the price of one Ebook.

How many Ebooks are guaranteed new in each Monthly Baen Bundle?

We guarantee that at each Monthly Baen Bundle will feature at least four Ebooks new to the Baen Ebookstore.

Note: An omnibus reprint of several older books counts as a new book, as does a book published in the past by another publisher, but coming out under the Baen name for the first time.

Can I buy Monthly Baen Bundles from previous months?

As of December 16, 2012, you can only buy monthly bundles prior to their publication date. For example, the October 2017 Monthly Baen Bundle will only be available for purchase until October 2, 2017 because we publish that Bundle on October 3, 2017.

I purchased a "Forthcoming," "Half," or "Three-Quarters" version of an Ebook and it's full of mistakes!

Most Ebooks that we release before publication (either in-part or in-full) contain the eARC or first-pass text—we don’t have the final text until roughly a month before publication date. We use the text from the eARC for the Sample Chapters and Monthly Baen Bundle quarters until we receive the final text, convert it, and upload it to the site.


What is an eARC?

An eARC is an Advance Reader Copy. This is an unproofed manuscript and is guaranteed to be full of typos and error. It is pretty much raw from the author's word processor. But you get the entire eARC well in advance of even the Monthly Baen Bundle release.

Do eARCs include the final proofed version?

No. If you would like to read and enjoy the final proofed version, you must purchase that separately.

Why is an eARC more expensive than the regular book?

We offer the eARC at a $15 price point because not only are they exactly how the author wrote them, but they are available well in advance of the official publication.

Why can't I buy this eARC anymore (listed as "Not Currently Available")?

At this time, eARCs and other unproofed copies are only available for purchase until the final text is released. They remain on our Web site so people who purchased the eARCs are still able to access them.

I found a typo in the eARC! Would it be helpful if I sent you corrections before the final version is released?

The initial segments of the books will typically be un-proofed copy similar to galley copies. That's what we are doing during those three months, proofing and passing copies back and forth for approvals. Please don't send us long lists of corrections.

The final segment release will refresh the entire book with the final proofed copy as sent to the publisher. We still don't guarantee zero mistakes.

Grantville Gazette

Can you explain the Grantville Gazette naming convention?

Originally, the Grantville Gazettes used roman numerals instead of numbers, but when Baen Ebooks began printing the best of compilations, the exclusively online volumes shifted from roman numerals to numbers. We didn’t update this naming with the earlier volumes.

I want to purchase some of the Grantville Gazette Ebooks, but I already have all of the mass-market paperbacks published to date. At what point do the Ebooks contain material that is exclusively online?

The first four paper editions of the Grantville Gazette were simply print versions of the first four issues of the electronic magazine by the same name. Beginning with the fifth paper edition, however, we realized that we couldn't maintain the same system. Starting in May of 2007, the Gazette e-magazine started publishing on a regular bimonthly schedule, and it soon became obvious that Baen couldn't possibly keep up with the volume of stories being produced. So, beginning with Grantville Gazette V, the anthologies consist of the best stories selected from half a dozen issues of the magazine.

For example, Volume 5 of the Gazette is the fifth issue of the exclusively online magazine, while Volume V is actually a compilation of stories from the exclusively online magazines. The same is true for Volume 6 and Volume VI.

Schlock Mercenary

Why are the Schlock Mercenary comics only available as PDFs?

In an attempt to do justice to Howard Tayler's art, we only offer our Schlock Mercenary titles in PDF format. This format allows the best possible ereading experience by allowing our customers to enjoy high quality, uncompromised images.

I just bought a Schlock Mercenary Ebook, but the download link provided in my email won't work! What do I do?

Due to their large file size, the Schlock Mercenary PDFs aren't currently offered as order ZIP files. We generate a traditional "Download Order" link when you order Schlock Mercenary Ebooks from Baen Ebooks, but no download ZIP is created if a non-PDF Ebook was purchased in the order. Please only use the PDF links provided on the individual Ebooks' product pages.

Use the following links to navigate to the Schlock Mercenary Ebooks product pages:

How do I download my Schlock Mercenary PDF to my eReader?

Many thoughtful readers have asked us, is there a format to buy that is best for the author (i.e. gives the author the most bang for my buck)?

One of the best ways to support an author's work costs nothing at all: simply give it positive word of mouth, internet publicity, and encourage other people to buy it.

However, speaking in general and in monetary terms, the author will receive the most return from your investment in the following order:


Hardcover books

eBooks that are currently hardcover books

eBooks that are currently trade paperbacks

eBooks that are currently mass market paperbacks

Trade paperbacks

Mass market paperbacks

David Weber on Shrikes

I salvaged this from an old database. Thought some might like to see it again.


On 1/22/98 3:05:55 AM, MARK HUME wrote: Simply as a What If. you did not have the capability to place ground troops, could not lift sufficient troops to match what was on the surface, or did not have time to conduct a protracted engagement on the surface. As in time for a hit and run only, doing the most damage possible in the shortest amount of time. Also would be a requirement that you did not care what happened to the planet, population, etc.

Would this be a form of scorched earth defensive policy, Scorched Planet?


Two Problems, guys:

(1) The "rules of war" of HH's universe require a planet to surrender when you control the high orbitals. If it doesn't, you're justified in doing all sorts of nasty things to said planet. But—

(2) If you carry out a mass planetary bombardment, you are in violation of the Solarian League's Eridani Edict, and the League will come and spank you with an axe. This is not an optional decision on the Sollies' part; the Eridani Edict is written into their constitution. This means that doing ANYTHING which could look like an indscriminate area attack on an inhabited planet is very much contraindicated unless you really like having the most powerful political unit in the known galaxy come annihilate you.



On 2/14/98 11:42:34 AM, Scott Washburn wrote: William: Good questions. 1. In HAE they tried to recover the pods because they were operating beyond normal logistic support, but considering the cost (and the possible production shortfalls I mentioned earlier)it would make sense to try and recover them. 

2. Purpose built munition ships make sense 3. The problem of escort for the fleet train definitely benefits the defender. O,K, let me throw out a new thought: What sort of conventions exist regarding a planet whose star system is occupied by an enemy fleet?

Supply—and especially missile resupply—IS a major problem for the navies of HH's universe. The RMN does build specialized ammunition ships, and has been building more of them, hence the specialized fast merchantmen Honor is escorting in IEH when she is captured. The question of what happens when an enemy fleet controls the high orbitals has been discussed at some length on alt.books.david-weber. I do not normally do much web surfing because of how it cuts into writing time, but when someone raised the point there a friend of mine e-mailed the question to me. The point is covered (briefly) in ECHOES OF HONOR, where the Eridani Edict is referred to.

I can give a little more explanation without, I think, providing spoiler info on the new book, however. In essence, a planet is supposed to surrender when an enemy fleet controls the high orbitals. This is analagous to the 18th century military tradition which required a fortress to surrender when the attacker's siege guns had blown "a practicable breach" in its walls. If it surrendered at that point, the fortress garrison was assured of decent treatment. If it persisted when, under the "rules of war," its position had become hopeless, the attackers had the "right" to sack the city and execute the garrison. This was because the defenders had been so pigheaded as to continue inflicting casualties when they knew they couldn't win. (It was also a reaction to the incredible bloodshed of the previous century's religious wars.)

In HH's time, this means that since once a planet is exposed to orbital bombardment, its position is hopeless, it is OBLIGED to surrender. If it does not, the attacker may carry out orbital bombardment, though he is supposed to start with military targets and work his way down the list towards civilian targets. There is, however, a catch—the aforesaid Eridani Edict, which the Solarian League enacted after several billion of its citizens were killed in orbital bombardments in the Epsilon Eridani System. The Edict is embodied in the League Constitution and REQUIRES the League Navy to go after ANYONE who carries out an indiscriminate planetary bombardment.

What this means is that if either side in the Havenite Wars were to attack the other side's planetary civilian populations from space, the League would AUTOMATICALLY come in on the other side. Which means, I suspect, that no one will try it.

Of course, I could be wrong. I'm only the writer, and some of these people are STUBBORN :-) . David

On 2/17/98 8:04:47 AM, Scott Washburn wrote: Ronald: You are certainly correct about the increased Alliance production capability. My point, however, was if it is impossible to stop a fractional cee attack against orbital installations, why isn't it happening? The Peeps have shown that they have the ability to make deep penetration operations (Silesia and Fourth Yeltsin) and also sneaky ones like the Argus operation before the war. A Peep attack force could come out of hyper a few light months out of Manticore, accelerate up to .8 cee, launch the missiles and then get out. The Manties would never know they had even been there until the missiles hit two months later. According to Weber there is no defense against this so why aren't the Peeps (and the RMN) doing this?

Excuse me. I never meant to say that ALL fixed defenses were sitting ducks for cee-fractional attacks, and I think there has been some misreading here.

I said that in the case of GRAYSON's original forts, which had been refitted with spherical sidewalls BUT NOT DRIVES, there was no defense against a cee-fractional attack. Newer forts, like those the RMN has deployed to cover wormhole termini and planets, HAVE the ability to move (albeit at low accel rates) and so are not required to hold absolutely predictable positions. This means that long-range cee-fractional strikes become much less effective against them. And, of course, even if the warheads reach attack range of a modern fort, they still have to burn through sidewalls much more powerful than those which could be squeezed into the (small) forts Grayson had refitted.

The orbital defenses of Hades are vulnerable for an additional reason: they not only cannot maneuver, but they also have no sidewalls and can be killed by proximity attacks.

As for the tactic of dropping out of hyper so far out as to be undetected, launching the missiles, accelerating them to .99 cee, and letting them run in to attack range, you hit several problems:

(1) The central systems of the Alliance (and especially the Manticoran Binary System) are equipped with enormous, extremely sensitive gravitic arrays which can detect hyper footprints and impeller wedges at EXTREME ranges.

(2) At any range at which those very large gravitic arrays (like a couple of thousand of kilometers on a side) can't detect YOU upon your emergence from hyper, YOUR targeting systems certainly cannot detect your intended victims. This means you will have to launch blind and hope your targeting data from your system ephemeris is accurate enough to fire "off the map" and hit a target which, however large in absolute terms, is a flea-speck on any sort of solar system scale.

(3) Even assuming that you can make your launch from far enough out, your birds' sensor arrays will be exposed to fairly massive particle erosion once their drives go down. This will even further degrade their ability even to see their targets, should they happen to enter attack range.

(4) Even if your missiles' sensors arrays work properly, and even if a target comes within their cone of vision, it may well not be the RIGHT target. This is not a problem as long as it is an enemy warship, but suppose the wrong target is a neutral freighter? Or a passenger liner? Something like that could be Hard To Explain to the neutral news services.

All in all, this is a tactic which looks good on paper but doesn't work well in real life.


On 2/18/98 3:54:14 PM, Scott Washburn wrote:

One problem with speculating on the design of LAC carriers is that we do not know how big one of the new LAC's is. If the size relation ship between a LAC and an SD was the same as that between an F-14 and a Nimitz class carrier, then a Lac would mass 2500-3000 tons. I have gotten the impression, however, that a LAC is actually somewhere in the 10,000 - 20,000 ton range. Anyone have any ideas?

Try 20,000 tons. The new SHRIKE-class LAC is described (and maybe, oh, used just a LITTLE) in Echoes of Honor. David

On 2/21/98 10:22:32 PM, Douglas Jones wrote:

Getting away from LAC's for a minute. any thoughts on Wall of Battle - dedicated pod launching ships, larger then SD? Start with a large design. No, I mean a LARGE design. forget about 8M such as Wayfarer. Lets try 20 or 30M. Full range of armor, design from the core out as a ship of battle. The newest designs from RMN and Grayson for compensators, PD, etc. Is there an upper limit on energy weapons other then the size of the ship you are trying to fit them into? What would happen if you took a SD size graser and doubled the size and capability? Would that provide a sufficient increase in power output and range to justify the increased space requirement? What would the range be then? What about if the new class could launch 18 pods every 6 seconds. 18 pods x 10 launches x 10 missiles per pod would = 1800 missiles per minute from just one ship. (yes, this was mentioned elsewhere). Would this be sufficient firepower to justify building a division or 2 of these ships? Would the shielding, armor, etc that you could put on a ship this size reduce it's vulnerability due to it's being a larger (the biggest in sight) target? Doug

Using current technology, even with Grayson-derived inertial compensators, a ship of the mass you are describing would have a pitifully low acceleration rate. Remember that even the RMN's 16,000,000-ton Junction forts have an itty-bitty acceleration compared to any warship out there. Go back and look at the technical appendices in MTH, although there is a typo in the section describing the drop off in max accel above 8.5 Mtons. The actual drop is 1 G per 21,929 tons of mass above that. Thus a 30 MT ship, which is 21.5 Mtons bigger would have an acceleration 980 gees lower than an SD. Which, of course, would be a negative number—theoretically speaking. In fact, of course, it would simply be immobile.


On 3/13/98 7:50:44 AM, Scott Washburn wrote:

Andrew, On the targeting issue, I think you are overlooking how big space is and how much acceleration these ships have to work with. In a ten second time span a ship could be dozens, hundreds or even thousands of kilometers away from where its "predicted course" would have put it if it had not changed course. No "canister blast" of energy shots over a wide area is going to have much luck hitting anything. As for the wall of battle - true its maneuverability is somewhat restricted but even a very tight wall is still mostly empty space.

FTL energy weapons, hey? I don't think so . . . unless somebody can figure out how to create a hyper space fold to zap the weapon through, sort of like DAHAK's fold-space coms. Of course, the Imperium had tech just a LITTLE more advanced than HH's.

On the long-range energy weapon targeting question, I really hate to point this out, but they don't even have to change course randomly to screw you up at really extended ranges. All they have to do is roll ship at unpredictable intervals, since no energy weapon can penetrate an impeller wedge. And a wall of battle can do that without undue difficulty if they are well trained and drilled. For that matter, individual ships within the wall could roll ship AS individuals rather than attempting to roll the entire wall at once, which would REALLY confuse your sensors at that sort of extended range. Since SOMEONE would be shooting at you the entire time, it would be extremely difficult (aka, impossible) to tell which ship was in what attitude at any given moment.

But it would be a nice thing to have if it were possible to make it work. David

I thought about it for a while and finally decided to go ahead and post the basic stats for the new SHRIKE-class LACs of the RMN. These are discussed in ECHOES OF HONOR, where (hint, hint) you will also get to see them in action for the first time. I don't plan to discuss their tactical doctrine or combat debut with any specificity, because I don't want to inadvertently give up any spoilers for what happens in the book, but I'm sure you uninhibited bunch of speculators can have fun playing with the new class all on your own.

The SHRIKE-class masses 20,000 metric tons, is 115 meters in length, with a maximum beam of 19.2 meters, and does NOT have the conventional warship hammerheads. It carries a crew of only 10: CO, XO, astrogator, tac officer, engineer, assistant engineer, helmsman, sensor officer, com officer, & electronic warfare specialist. It has NO broadside armament OR point defense.

The SHRIKE's main armament is a spinal graser mount (equivalent to a main battery weapon from one of the HOMER-class BCs), 4 "revolver" launchers for shipkiller missiles, and 4 counter-missile tubes, supported by 6 point defense laser clusters mounted around the graser emitter. The missile tubes are in blisters mounted aft of the forward impeller ring, aligned to fire between the nodes, which is the reason the normal hammerhead was Omitted: to clear the tubes' field of fire. Because of advances in mass drivers, missile on-board electronics, and shipboard fire control, coupled with the tubes' placement aft of the forward ring, a SHRIKE can fire attack missiles OR point defense missiles at angles of up to 120 degrees "off bore". The SHRIKE's shipkillers are equivalent to those carried by CLs or DDs, and each revolver magazine carries 5 missiles (total of 20 anti-shipping missiles carried internally), while the counter-missile magazine contains 52 missiles. With their new compensators, the SHRIKES can attain accelerations of 636 G at max military power, or 508.8 G at the normal "80% of military power" maximum rating of the RMN.

The SHRIKEs are also the first class to be fitted with the new "beta-squared" impeller nodes. These are MUCH more powerful than older beta nodes, reducing the required number of nodes from 16 per impeller ring to only 8. (They are more massive than the old beta nodes, but only by 15%-20%, and the mass saved is one reason the new ships are able to fit in internal magazines.) The mass savings also permit much more powerful sidewall generators, and the efficiency of the SHRIKEs' sidewalls is roughly equivalent to that of many older CAs, though not to that of the most recent ships of that type.

In addition, one of the LACs biggest problems has always been limited endurance; they simply do not have the bunker space for fusion reactor hydrogen for more than a few weeks' cruising. The SHRIKEs, however, borrowing another element from the Grayson tech bag, are built around high efficiency, very lightweight FISSION reactors, which means their endurance is now limited only by their environmental support.

On the electronics front, the new LACs have EW (and especially ECM) capabilities superior to most light cruisers. Coupled with their much smaller impeller signatures, which are already much less readily detectable than a DD's, that makes them far more stealthy than any other warship yet built. A SHRIKE mounts 3 tractors, which means it can tow up to 3 missile pods, but only with severe degradation of its acceleration curve. A SHRIKE with a single pod suffers a 20% reduction in accel; one with 2 pods suffers a 50% reduction; and one with 3 pods suffers an 80% reduction (max military power accel of only 127.2 gees). In addition, even a single pod on tow requires drive power levels which make stealth very difficult even with all the EW built into the new class.

The SHRIKE also mounts the new Phase Four FTL com. The P4 Com pulse repetition rate per beta node increase from one roughly every 93 seconds to one about every 9.5 seconds AND the new com is able to use separate beta nodes to generate separate pulses—that is, it has a total of 16 pulse generators, which means it can translate one pulse roughly every .594 seconds, with obvious advantages in increased data transmission rates. (Like by a factor of about 15657% over the Phase One com.)

Finally, the SHRIKE can do something no other warship can: it generates a BOW sidewall (already dubbed the "bow wall"). This is not as foolish as it sounds, despite the fact that it is well known that the forward and after aspects of an impeller wedge cannot be closed if the drive is to function. The trick is that one CAN close the bow aspect of a wedge so long as one is willing to accept that the wedge cannot then be used to accelerate or maneuver the vessel. That is, once the bow wall goes up, the LAC is limited to vector changes attainable with pure reaction thrusters until the bow wall comes down again. The bow wall contains only a single firing port—for the graser—which means that no missiles, offensive or defensive, may be fired while the bow wall is up. However, it is an IMMENSELY powerful bow wall—much more powerful than the sidewalls—and offers hostile units a very, very small, VERY "hardened" target.

The SHRIKE's biggest weakness, aside from its fragility, is that its sensor suite and on-board computer support, while probably at least as good as anything the Peeps currently possess, are simply too cramped for space to be up to the standards of heavier Manty units. A SHRIKE's sensors and fire control can be considered roughly equivalent to those of an RMN DD/CL, but are considerably inferior to those of any heavier units.

I won't go into any detail about squadron organization, wing size, the design of prototype carriers, etc., although these have been worked out for the novel. I figure this ought to be enough for you people to play with for the moment.

But I WILL tell you the name of the officer selected to run Project Anzio and test the feasibility of the LAC-carrier concept. You've met her before: Captain (SG) Alice Truman.


— David

On 3/16/98 2:09:55 PM, Paul Schmidt wrote: David, thanks for the info. I agree that you don't have to plug your books,

Maybe I don't have to, but there's a boisterous (not to say snerky) little boy side of me that ENJOYS plugging them. And this one is going to run to 250,000-plus words, so I feel even more pluggish than usual.

I thought Alice Truman was senior to Alistar McKeon? If so how come she has not promoted to Commodore?

Because McKeon got promoted out of the zone. It happens, even in the RMN, and especially in wartime.

Also, as a nuclear engineer I find it difficult to imagine a fission reactor that would have a higher energy Density than a fusion reactor. Kg for Kg the energy available by fusing 1 Kg of hydrogen is far more than that available by fissioning 1 Kg of Uranium

I never said the fission plants had a higher energy density than a fusion plant. What I said was that they were high efficiency fission plants—ie., much more efficient than anything the 20th century CE can boast. Their output is actually considerably lower than contemporary fusion plants (oh nit-picky Nuc!), but, then again, a LAC, even with a great, huge, humongous graser strapped on doesn't NEED the power output of a BC-sized fusion plant. What it does need that it hasn't had before is ENDURANCE, and that's where the fission plant comes in. You could look at it rather like the USN looked at reciprocating steam plants-versus-turbines in the first decade or so of this century. The turbine could drive a battleship at a higher rate of speed, but it was inefficient in terms of cruising radius (endurance) compared to "last generation" reciprocating plants with forced lubrication. Accordingly, the USN opted to stick with the older-style plants much longer than anyone else did, because the USN was the only navy then designing its battle fleet for strategic endurance. Similar considerations (plus superior damage-resistance ability) also helped drive the USN's later interest in turbo-electric machinery.

Oops. Digression. At any rate, the point for the SHRIKE is that the RMN has opted to trade off reduced power output for enhanced endurance in a unit whose power requirements are lower than those of larger units.

BTW, this is possible only because the Graysons, redeveloping their tech in isolation and living in a neighborhood lousy with heavy metals and fissionables, resurrectedd a power plant the rest of humanity had long ago abandoned. Their designs were much more efficient than the mainstream galactic tech base had contemplated, and the SKM, with other high tech goodies to play with, had tweaked it still further.


David Weber on an Honor Harrington Mini-Series

Someone told me you guys were discussing this topic(s), so I thought I'd drop in.

First, don't EVEN get me started on ST. We don’t have that much time or bandwidth.

On the HH front, however, what's actually being contemplated is a regular series, not a mini-series.

I've seen the first draft of the proposed 2-hour pilot, and while I have some minor problems with it, I am quite impressed overall. The senior script-writer show-runner of the crew working on this project (on spec, at this point) is a Royal Navy veteran with experience as both a watch officer and with naval intelligence, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. (In the first draft of the script, he was busy using wet-navy helm orders for maneuvers under thrusters at space stations. He knew they were wrong, but he also knew that he could write them in a coherent fashion and planned on cleaning them up later.)

There is enough interest in the project that said show runner is flying down to Australia to discuss money and possible filming locations. Where we go from here and/or how quickly we do so is in the laps of the gods.

One thing. I have not attempted to retain dictatorial control of the (possible) series for two main reasons: (1) script writing is not what I do for a living and is not my area of expertise, and (2) they are thinking in terms of a 3-5 season story arc to cover the novels from OBS to EoH, and if I got deeply involved in making sure they did all of them perfectly according to the series, I wouldn't get any new novels done during that time frame. Since I am planning at least 9 more in the HH story line plus a spin-off series (which I think of as the "Saganami Island" series which will focus on certain of Honor's Academy students and their careers and which should also go to at least 8 or 9 books), the time sink facets of the operation would simply make my detailed, hands-on involvement in the scripts themselves impractical.

Having said that, the one point I did insist upon was that if I DID have any concerns, their senior writers would be contractually required to respond to my concerns in writing. This will not compel them to do things my way, but it will (hopefully) at least compel them to think seriously about what I'm saying rather than just blowing it off. Also, the exact degree of supervision and visits to the set on my part which might be involved remains to be settled.

I suppose I ought to say right up front that I do not expect any eventual series to be an exact rendering of my view of HH and her universe. For one thing, I am more concerned with an actress who can portray Honor's personality and — especially — her command style than I am with someone who looks like she is described in the books. Mind you, I would NOT be happy if they cast a blue-eyed blonde in the role, but how many female 6'2" Eurasian martial artists who can also act AND project her command style are there?

The thing that I like best about the pilot script version I've seen so far is that entire blocks of dialogue are lifted directly out of the book at critical points in the development of relationships between people like Honor, McKeon, Dominica Santos, etc. Harkness' role is punched up somewhat, since they intend to make him a more prominent character in the earlier books, and while I find the sudden emergence of a decidedly lower class British accent on his part a bit unsettling, it actually grows on one with time.

I don't know whether or not I'm at liberty at this point to tell you who all is involved in this, but I can tell you that at least one individual had a series-long association with B5, which may also give you some hope for where everything is/may be headed.

As I say, at this point we don't know exactly how likely the series actually is to be produced, and things like this have a habit of taking a LOOOOONG time to gel (or not gel, as the case may be). We have had several expressions of interest from studios and cable channels, so that may be a good sign, but there's absolutely no way to predict the ultimate success or failure of the project.

Gotta go back and write some more,


Lois McMaster Bujold on Book Distribution 2000

Copyright © 1999  Lois McMaster Bujold

I've been mulling over a little informative mini-essay for the general interest of the Barflies, and this seems as good a place to stick it in as any.  This is all about the business of publishing, rather than the art of writing, standard writer-gossip; you may imagine that a bunch of writers discuss High Art when they get together, but I'm sorry to say they more usually bitch about money.  (The less obvious reason for this is that no writer can talk about his/her own book in front of another writer with the emotional intensity they really feel; it just doesn't work, socially.)

Anyway.  The publishing business as it is presently constituted consists of three parts: publisher, distribution system, and bookstores, followed at a remove by reader-customers.  A publisher's actual main customers are not the readers, but the book chains, and big distributors such as Ingram's or Baker & Taylor who in turn supply small bookstores and libraries.   Present conditions have the publishers trying to push ten gallons of books into a five-gallon pipeline (the distribution system) into a three-gallon bucket (the bookstores).  Something has to give, and it does.

The first way to get More Stuff through is to speed it up, which is why books whip on and off the shelves with such velocity these days (category romance novels are given, count 'em, thirty days on the market before being replaced by the next batch.)  What this means is, the speed of book turnover has grown to be faster than the speed of word of mouth, a slowish process formerly vital to a new book or author.  All but the very first readers to buy a book thus have no way to send economic feedback messages back through the system saying, "More, please."  The late reader loses a vote.

The second pernicious thing that's happened to take away readers' voices in the process occurs at the stuffing-books-in end of the distribution system.  I was bewildered when I first heard of a large ad budget being spent on a book when I never saw sign of an ad in any newspaper or even bookstore.  Turns out that money was being spent advertising to distributors of various ilks.   Publishers have turned, in something like despair, to attempts to buy room for their books in that narrow pipeline; hence such things as paid placement at the front of a bookstore, front page treatment in book chain newsletters, various complex incentives for high volume, etc.  (I won't even get into the evils of the book returns system here — that will take another essay to explain.)  Naturally, publishers with deep pockets have an advantage in this Darwinian competition for space, and work like mad to pitch the packaging of their books to a harried crew of buyers who, given the volume of books to pass through their hands, can not possibly read them.

Again, the result has been to take away another piece of the readers' voice in the process.  If a book — or rather, its packaging and the sales numbers of previous books by that author — fails to pass muster at the stuffing-in end of the pipeline, no reader (or very few) will ever learn of its existence in order to ask for it.  Reader input is limited to an expensive and wasteful negative — readers can (and do) reject books they do see, but they have no way of asking for books they don't see.

Such was the hair-tearing state of the business in the middle of the 90's.

Then along came the Internet.

And publisher's websites such as Baen's Bar.  And some short guy who had a better idea what to do with his website. And, with shelves that never get too full to hold More Stuff.   And still more — word of mouth got hyperdrive through chat groups and email.  Word of mouth got faster, even, than the system's book-removal rhythm.

And suddenly, publishers now have an economical way of getting the word out to the excluded people in this process, the actual book readers, of their books' existences — totally jumping over the unfortunate book-blocking nature of the distribution system.  Instead of trying to push books through the pipeline, this intelligence network allows a thousand or ten thousand of you guys to line up on the other end and pull the books through — the books you want, not the ones some desperately overworked distribution exec imagines will sell.

Folks, it's a revolution.  And you were here when the barricades were stormed.  It's possible — we're still in the middle of the smoke and rubble here — that it may be a revolution that re-makes the book industry as profoundly as Ian Ballantine's development of the mass market paperback.  Because it takes the fundamental power to decide what books appear — placed by the physical and historical accidents and necessities of the industry into the hands of people who don't read books — and puts it back into the hands of people who do.

And it's all happening by accident, while someone was trying to do something else — downright Milesian, I'd say.

All power to the readers

Ta, Lois.

About Jim Baen

Jim Baen started his publishing career, appropriately enough, in the complaint department of Ace Books after stints in the Army, at CCNY, and in Greenwich Village in the Sixties working as the manager of a folk music coffee shop (a "basket house"). He soon moved to take Judy Lynn Del Rey's place at Galaxy magazine, and became editor of Galaxy and If in 1974 after brief trip back to Ace to be assistant Gothics editor. While at Galaxy he published such authors as Jerry Pournelle, Charles Sheffield, Joanna Russ and John Varley, and was nominated for several Hugo Awards. He returned to Ace to head their science fiction line, working with publisher Tom Doherty. When Doherty left to start Tor, Baen shortly followed and started the SF line there. In 1983 he had the opportunity to start his own independent company, Baen Books, distributed then and now by Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster. Baen Books has become a market leader, publishing books at the heart of SF, by authors such as David Drake, Lois McMaster Bujold, Elizabeth Moon, David Weber, James Hogan, Mercedes Lackey, Larry Niven and many more. Jim Baen was very active on the website, "Baen's Bar," where his interests in evolutionary biology, space technology, politics, military history, and bad puns are discussed along with science fiction.

He passed away June 12, 2006 after a stroke. His obituary may be read at

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While this is a core list selected from our top sellers, there are other titles not listed here published by Baen that are appropriate for young adults. I'll be adding more titles from our backlist and selecting new titles as they are published to update this list every three months or so.

While this is a core list selected from our top sellers, there are other titles not listed here published by Baen that are appropriate for young adults. I'll be adding more titles from our backlist and selecting new titles as they are published to update this list every three months or so.

As with any such list, it is bound to be idiosyncratic and in some cases, I'm sure I'll hear about a title I've selected or left off the list. I welcome that feedback. If you've found a title that works particularly well with young adults that I've left off the list, please pass it on. Similarly, if you feel I've included a title with themes too mature for young adults, let me know that, too. You can contact me with comments at:

Book Binding Problems

Every once in a while, we get a flurry of complaints about one or another title. Once we got a whole LOT of complaints about a great number of titles. In the latter case, it turned out that there had been an "environmental" problem in the warehouse.

In the former case, I have to assume that it is a particular and momentary quality control issue. The thing is, our paperback production is handled by our distributor, Simon & Schuster, and our books are produced at the same factory as those of Pocket Books, Bantam, and virtually every major paperback publisher. (Quebecor is the name of the manufacturer.) As a matter of fact, our books are actually _ganged_ with Pocket titles, which means they are on the press at the same time, and use the same paper rolls.

So, it just can't be a problem particular to Baen... can it?

-Jim Baen

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  1. Use your computer to navigate to
  2. Log into your account or create an account and then log in. Once you have placed an order for an eBook, you can download it.
  3. At the Download Order Number page, from the list of seven file types, select the EPUB/Nook/Stanza Format Zip file, and download it to your computer.

Amazon Kindle

All Baen’s Ebooks are available in Kindle format for direct use. To download them, follow these steps:

  • Download the Ebook in the Mobipocket/Kindle Format. If you download the zipped version, unzip the file to a directory of your choice.
  • Connect the Kindle reader to your computer using a mini USB cable. Most Kindle devices come with these cables.
  • Once connected, the Kindle device will appear as a new drive attached to your computer.
  • Copy the Ebook file into the Documents directory on the Kindle. On the Kindle Fire, drag and drop into the “Books” folder.
  • Safely disconnect the USB cable. The new Ebook should appear in the Kindle's directory.

Emailing books directly to your Kindle

Depending on which Kindle you are using and how you are connecting to the Internet, Amazon may charge a modest fee for emailing an Ebook to your Kindle. For US customers, the fee is 15 cents for 1 MB of data (almost all of our Ebooks are less than 1 MB). For non-US customers, the fee is 99 cents for 1 MB of data.

To authorize Amazon to email Baen Ebooks to your device, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to and log in to your account.
  2. Under the “Hello, ” greeting, click Your Account.
  3. Scroll down to where you see Digital Content and click on “Manage Your Content and Devices” under Digital Management
  4. Log in again, if prompted
  5. Under Manage Your Content and Devices, click the “Settings” tab
  6. Scroll down to where you see Approved Personal Document E-mail List and click “Add a new approved e-mail address” (this will be under the list of approved email addresses)
  7. In the pop up, type your personal email address then click “Add Address”
  8. You should see a green Success! message once it’s entered. Also, you’ll see the email address listed on the Approved Personal Document E-mail List
  9. Log in to your account on Baen Ebooks and navigate to your purchased Ebook’s product page
  10. Click “Email book to Me”
  11. Enter your personal email address into the email address box
  12. Press send
  13. Check your email. You should receive an email from with a .mobi file attached.
  14. Forward this email to your Kindle, making sure the .mobi file remains attached. Within 15 minutes, your Ebook should be on your Kindle.

For more information about Amazon fees, check out the Kindle section in our eReader Instructions.

Attention customers using Kindles with 3G

If you select the option to “Email book to my Kindle” and are connecting using the 3G network via Whispersync, Amazon will charge you. For US customers, the fee is 15 cents for 1 MB of data (almost all of our eBooks are less than 1 MB). For non-US customers, the fee is 99 cents for 1 MB of data.

At present, only Kindle users who take advantage of the 3G Whispersync capabilities incur this fee; an Ebook that Amazon delivers via WiFi incurs no fee. However, Amazon reserves the right to charge for their services at any time. Note that Whispersync is not available in Canada.

Click here to find out more about the Whispersync program.

Troubleshooting your Kindle Fire:

If you’re having trouble accessing Ebooks on your Kindle Fire, try these tips:

  • If your Ebooks aren’t showing up in your “Books” folder, check your “Docs” folder.
  • If you emailed your Ebooks to your Kindle and they show up as “Pending Deliveries" in your Kindle Account but aren’t showing up on your device, try manually syncing your Kindle Fire:
    • Verify your Kindle is connected to the Internet via WiFi
    • Press the settings cog wheel in the upper right hand corner
    • Press sync
    • Your Ebook should now start to download

Using Kindle for PC

Kindle for PC is Amazon’s free application that enables you to read Kindle Ebooks on Windows computers. You can download the program here.

To use a Baen Kindle file with Kindle for PC, follow these steps.

  • Download the Baen Ebook in Mobi/Kindle Format. If you download the zipped version, unzip the file to a directory of your choice.
  • Locate the Ebook and double click. Kindle for PC will open the file automatically.
  • This file is now permanently loaded into your Kindle for PC library, it is ok to delete the original file from your computer.

Using Kindle for Mac

Kindle for Mac is Amazon’s free application that enables you to read Kindle books on Apple computers. You can download it on the Mac App Store. More information can be found here.

To use a Baen Kindle file with Kindle for Mac, follow these steps:

  • Download the Baen Ebook in Mobi/Kindle Format. If you download the zipped version, unzip the file to a directory of your choice.
  • Locate the Ebook and double click. Kindle for Mac will open the file automatically.
  • This file is now permanently loaded into your Kindle for Mac library, it is ok to delete the original file from your computer.

Barnes & Noble Nook

You can read Ebooks on your Nook. All of our Ebooks are available in a Nook format for direct use. To download an Ebook, follow these steps:

  • Download the eBook in the EPUB/Nook/Stanza Format. If you download the Zipped version, unzip the file to a directory of your choice.
  • Connect the Nook reader to your computer using the USB cable supplied with the Nook. The Nook device will appear as a new drive attached to your computer.
  • Copy the eBook file into the Documents directory on the Nook.
  • Disconnect the USB cable. The new Ebook should appear in the Nook's directory.

You no longer need to be tethered to your computer to enjoy your Baen Ebooks! You can now download a Baen Ebook directly to your Nook Color on the go. All you need is a WiFi connection.

  • Using the built in web browser on your Nook Color, navigate to
  • Log into your account or create an account and then log in. Once you have placed an order for an Ebook, you can download it.
  • Select an Ebook you've purchased from your order history, and click the link for the unzipped version of the "EPUB/Nook/Stanza Format." The Ebook will begin to download.
  • In the bottom left hand corner, you’ll see a notification that the Ebook has begun to download.
  • Tap the notification to read the Ebook once its download completes.

Google Android Devices

We recommend using the Nook App to read your Ebooks on Android devices. You can find it for free on Google Play.

To read your Ebooks in the Nook app on your android device, follow the below steps:

  • Log in to from the browser on your device (do NOT select mobile site, if you have previously you can access the web version here:
  • Locate the Ebook you’d like to download
  • From the Ebook’s product page select unzipped EPUB/NOOK/STANZA format
    • A download arrow will appear in the top black menu bar on your device
  • After the download is complete, swipe down from the top of your screen from the black menu bar and a downloads list will appear
  • Tap on the book you just downloaded, it will end in “.epub”
  • The book should automatically open in the Nook app. If it doesn’t, delete the other epub readers you have installed on your device.
  • Once it’s opened in Nook, it should automatically save to your library under the “My Files” section

Ebook types

MOBI format supported by Amazon Kindle devices.

EPUB format supported by Nook, Kobo, iPad/iPhone/iPod, Sony Reader, and many other eReader devices and programs.

Sony LRF
LRF format supported by Sony Librie and Sony PRS-500 Readers

Rocket Ebook
Formatted by Rocket eBook devices.

Rich Text Format
RTF format supported by most word processing programs such as Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, etc.

Microsoft Reader
Formatted for the Microsoft Reader on PC and Pocket PC platforms.

Formatted for use with your browser. Files are downloadable in a ZIP file.